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Charlotte Area

Affordable Housing A Top Priority For Mayor-Elect Vi Lyles

Gwendolyn Glenn
Charlotte Mayor-Elect Vi Lyles holds press conference to discuss her priorities

Now that the election is behind her, Mayor-elect Vi Lyles says she wants to get to know the new City Council members and work to unify the city across party lines and neighborhoods. At a press conference Wednesday, Lyles said affordable housing is one of her top priorities.

Lyles took a cautious approach to laying out specific plans but says affordable housing is one issue she wants to move quickly on.

“I would like for us to be able to have visible changes that people can see and I’m going to work really hard to determine what might those things be first and I do think affordable housing is one of them,” Lyles said. “It’s a lot of pressure.”

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Task Force says there’s a need for an additional 34 thousand affordable housing units. These are units where rent does not exceed 30 percent of a household’s income.

After the Keith Lamont Scott fatal shooting last year, city officials set a goal of creating 5,000 affordable housing units over a three-year period. So far the city has gained about half that number.

Lyles says she wants to also work with the police chief and other city officials in tackling systemic problems that contribute to the city’s growing murder rate.

“A mayor does not reduce the murder rate. It’s a complex issue,” Lyles said. “I think we really need to be clear. If we are going to have plans, it’s going to be because we’ve addressed domestic violence, we’ve addressed the issues of race and we’ve addressed the issues of guns, not just the number.”

Lyles says Charlotte has a lot of offer businesses and she wants to use her office to sell prospective companies on the city’s assets. She’d also like to improve public safety by installing cameras to catch people who run red-lights. She believes that would reduce the number of pedestrians killed by drivers.